This Dawn framing camera (FC) image of Vesta shows Drusilla crater, which is the irregularly shaped crater offset from the center of the image. The average diameter of Drusilla crater is 21 kilometers (13 miles) but this varies due the wavy and irregular nature of Drusilla’s rim. Drusilla is a reasonably fresh crater, but there is some debris in the base of the crater that are likely due to slumping of material from the rim of the crater. The slumped debris in the center of the crater is similar to those in Caparronia crater, which is located in Vesta’s northern hemisphere. There is a similarly sized but much more degraded crater located just to the top right of Drusilla, which is barely visible in this image.
This image is located in Vesta’s Numisia quadrangle, in Vesta’s southern hemisphere. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft obtained this image with its framing camera on Oct. 15, 2011. This image was taken through the camera’s clear filter. The distance to the surface of Vesta is 700 kilometers (435 miles) and the image has a resolution of about 63 meters (207 feet) per pixel. This image was acquired during the HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) phase of the mission.
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras have been developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The Framing Camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR, and NASA/JPL.
More information about Dawn is online at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA